Whitewater rafting, almost alone among wilderness adventures, doesn't penalize you for hauling the good stuff -- fresh food and vegetables, a few good bottles of wine -- along for the ride. And everything tastes better after a long day on the river. Now add a certified gourmet chef, and everything tastes...amazing. Find your foodie-adventurer paradise on these five gourmet river trips.
These Western US adventures don't come without delicious food. Photo: Mark Oliver
O.A.R.S. Wilderness Gourmet Trips
Rogue River, OR
Executive Chef Bob Anderson translates his experience in the kitchens of the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park to riverside campsites along the Rogue River. After tackling Class III rapids, Anderson will teach you how to make the perfect pan-seared filet mignon with Jack Daniel’s reduction flambé. Leave your spork at home—dig in with real silverware at your luxurious riverside table.
Far and Away Adventures Luxury Organic Food Trip
Salmon River, ID
Adventure glamping at its finest, this 6-day trip journeys down the iconic Middle Fork of the Salmon River, then sets up guests in luxe chalet tents and serves them organic gourmet fare. Think fine china and stemware—you’ll eat a candlelit dinner of goat cheese fondue and champagne-poached salmon paired with award-winning wines, all prepared by a professional Sun Valley chef.
Far Flung Outdoors Gourmet River Trips
Rio Grand, TX
What this trip down a super-smooth section of the Rio Grande lacks in whitewater, it makes up for in gourmet food. San Antonio chef Francois Maeder takes care of your tastebuds with three large riverside meals a day. Goose pate with truffles anyone?
Lewis and Clark Trail Adventures, Ray Risho’s Ports of Call Canoe Trip
Missouri River, MT
Follow the steps of Louis and Clark as you canoe down the Wild & Scenic Upper Missouri River. You’ll get historical and gastronomical interpretations from experts including Missoula chef and global cuisine specialist Ray Risho, who will give daily cooking demonstrations on North African, Italian and Middle Eastern fare.
Rubicon Adventures Wine and Whitewater Extravaganza
South Fork of the American River, CA
If you can’t find the perfect gourmet whitewater adventure, Rubicon will make one for you. They’ll help you tailor your group’s trip specifically to your needs, whether that means hooking you up with a local Bay Area chef and sommelier, or accommodating your own favorite professional foodie. Hit Class III rapids on the South Fork of the American River by day, then set up camp and kitchen at a vehicle-accessed campsite. There’s no need to pack light when you car camp—guests can dress in their finest for white tablecloth dinners with the appropriate stemware for each evening’s tasting. Or not. Whatever you say goes.
Article by Greer Schott